June 3, 2022
Choosing a location for your engagement session is such a fun “task” to check off your to-do list. Your engagement session is the perfect opportunity to really showcase your relationship. One of my favorite ways to do this is by the location, outfits, and even activities during your session. Believe it or not, engagement photos don’t have to be just you and your lover standing next to a picket fence. As a full-time wedding photographer in Buffalo, New York and beyond, I consider myself a location pro. So if you’re looking for a little inspiration, look no further, friends. I’m sharing the BEST engagement session locations in Western NY (I might even throw in some fun activity ideas, too!). Let’s get into it!
Como Lake Park
Como Lake Park is one of my favorite winter destinations for engagement session, don’t forget to bring your skates! Living in Western New York, it’s safe to say we are built a little bit differently here. I urge my clients to embrace the winter weather. Some of my favorite engagement sessions have been spent frolicking around in the snow. There’s so many activities to do in the winter to really add some personality to your session.
- Ice Skating
- Have a snowball fight
- Cozy up with some hot cocoa
- Go for a winter stroll through the woods
And of course, you can’t go wrong with either of these during the other seasons of the year; I’m just biased. 😉 Other skating options include, downtown Buffalo at Canalside or Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza!
(Bottom 2 photos are from Amherst State Park in the winter! Also a great spot with tall pines and a creek!)
There is something so freaking vibey about a downtown engagement session. Look, I get it: not everyone wants a forest backdrop for engagement photos. Wandering Main Street in downtown Buffalo is one of my fave pastimes to do with my edgier couples. The subway, artsy murals, and the lights from Shae’s Theater are some of my favorite scenes to take in. Ooh, and parking garages!! The skyline of Buffalo is so beautiful. It’s hard for Downtown Buffalo not to make the list of the best engagement session locations in Western NY.
Your Wedding Venue!
Depending on where you’re tying the knot, taking your engagement photos at your wedding venue is a great option. Not only do you get the opportunity to explore your venue, your photographer becomes more familiar as well! Bonus: you’ll probably have the whole place to yourself if it’s a weekday. Western NY has some of the most breathtaking wedding venues – why not utilize them for your engagement session!? (Pictured below- Kin Loch Farmstead and The Sterling WNY)
Chestnut Ridge Park
This one is popular with Buffalo-locals. Chestnut Ridge Park is beautiful all year-round, but the Fall time!? Oh my word! The Fall colors are unmatched here! But the best part?! It’s a GIANT park with so much room for your dogs to tag along!
Western NY Nature Preserves
I’m obsessed with the wooded trails, boardwalks, and ponds. Take a look around the Buffalo/Rochester area on Google – there’s too many to even list! Nature preserves are often overlooked, but they offer some of the most serene locations for an engagement session. (Please note- most nature preserves do not allow furry friends, unfortunately. But just let your photographer know you’d like to include them. There are plenty of dog friendly spots!)
Okay, okay… It’s safe to say all of these locations are some of my favorites. But WOW. Family properties have such a special place in my heart. Bonus points if you have a sick whip. 😎 Family properties are such a sweet, sentimental location for engagement photos. Couples find it so much easier to be comfortable and creative when in the comfort of something so near-and-dear to their hearts. And seriously, if anyone in your family has a classic car or truck – USE IT. PLEASE.
Knox Farms State Park
Oops, another favorite of mine! If your dream engagement session includes endless dog-sightings, this is the place for you! One of the most dog-friendly parks that I’ve ever been to; that alone makes this place 100% worth it. But also, this is the perfect location if you love the look of endless fields of wildflowers! I mean, who wouldn’t!? It’s even more beautiful as the sun begins to set.
Creek Sessions in Western NY
There are a ton of creeks to choose from in Western NY, which means you can choose the vibe you’re looking for! Pay attention to the water levels, especially if planning your session for late Spring, early Summer. I love when couples are ready to take a dip in the water and splash around! It adds such a playful component to the engagement photos.
Oh man, another one of my faves. 😅 There are plenty of beaches to choose from in Buffalo and Rochester! You wouldn’t even know that the photos below weren’t taken along the Atlantic! I love when beaches have the lifeguard stations; it gives such a coast vibe. Beach sessions are also a great opportunity to take some time with your lover to reflect as the sun sets. Ooh! And bring your dog if the beach is dog friendly that is! 🐾
Want to feel super comfortable?! Start your engagement photos in your home! Sip a couple cocktails on your patio, snuggle up on your couch, you name it! After you’ve loosened up a bit, you could even go to a nearby park, ice cream shop, etc. The possibilities are truly endless in making the photos feel more you!
Uff. Above all, it’s safe to say there are a ton of beautiful engagement session locations in Western NY. No matter where you decide to have your photos done, I urge you to do what feels right as a couple. If you two met at a coffee shop on your college campus, take a trip there for some “where it all started” photos! Engagement sessions aren’t meant to be stuffy, and just another thing to check off your list. They should be enjoyed, and treasured – just like any other date together!
Stressing about your wedding day timeline!? Have no fear, click HERE💍 for all of my tips for a relaxed wedding day! As always, be sure to follow me over on the ‘gram (@michellegodfreyphoto). Happy wedding planning, lovers!
(Please note that some parks do require a permit – so give your photographer a heads to allow for plenty of time to obtain the proper permits.)